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 Washing Your Running Shoes?
Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Washing Your Running Shoes? Posted: Sun Jan 30, 2005 2:27 pm 

My running shoes tend to get filthy pretty quickly. Any time I run off the pavement, even on a dry and hard-packed path, my shoes become a magnet for dirt. If I go run while it's raining, forget it. On the one hand all the dirt is helpful to telling my shoes apart: the newer pair is merely filthy, while the older pair is downright disgusting. You can barely tell what color they were originally.

Does anybody wash their running shoes? I'm wonder if I could just take off the laces, remove the insoles, and throw them in the washing machine. Anyone ever try this?


Bricks
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Chicago
Joined: 09 Dec 2004
Posts: 222

Re: Washing Your Running Shoes? Posted: Sun Jan 30, 2005 3:58 pm 

"On the one hand all the dirt is helpful to telling my shoes apart: the newer pair is merely filthy"

That's funny, I've noticed the same thing.

I never actively wash my shoes. Fortunately, or unfortunately as it were, here in the midwest I'm very rarely far removed from a rain-soaked or snow-traipsing run to let nature do the cleaning for me. You could just grab the dirtiest pair next time you head out on a rainy day...


mfox

South Orange, New Jersey
Joined: 19 Dec 2004
Posts: 367

Re: Washing Your Running Shoes? Posted: Mon Jan 31, 2005 4:32 pm 

When I get a new pair of shoes I hang on to my old pair and wear them (they usually still have some decent miles left on them) on days when I expect my run to be messy (rain or muddy trails). I like to try to keep my new shoes clean for as long as is possible.

Pretender
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Kansas, OK
Joined: 14 Dec 2004
Posts: 100

Re: Washing Your Running Shoes? Posted: Tue Feb 01, 2005 12:39 pm 

Generally, I don't wash them at all. It's just not good for them. However, never say never. I run on a dirt/mud road daily so my shoes dont' look so great. I'm going out of town this weekend and will have to run on a hotel treadmill. I plan on taking the insoles out and washing them in the washing machine so they don't look so bad! If you have to wash them in the washer, take out the insole and do NOT throw them in the dryer. Let them air dry. Unlace the shoes and pull the tongue up. You can try wadded up newspaper for helping the moisture absorbtion process as well.

Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: Washing Your Running Shoes? Posted: Tue Feb 01, 2005 1:10 pm 

I have several pairs of "retired" shoes that I haven't gotten around to throwing away. I think I'll try washing one of those pairs to see how they hold up. If it destroys them, I haven't really lost anything.

Minnow


Joined: 20 Jan 2005
Posts: 19

Re: Washing Your Running Shoes? Posted: Tue Feb 01, 2005 4:25 pm 

I have washed my shoes a few times, and found that they go sort of hard and stiff, and are tight when you put them on again, but seem to be ok again after a few runs. Another suggestion is to soak them in warm soapy water over night, then drip dry. This produces less wear and tear than throwing them in the washing machine.

Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: Washing Your Running Shoes? Posted: Tue Feb 01, 2005 4:43 pm 

In the name of science, I washed one shoe from a pair that was flithy. I removed the insole and laces before washing. Results: the washed shoe is noticeably frayed, with loose threads here and there hanging out. Nothing major, but it might be an issue if you washed them every week. But the surprising thing is that the shoe is still pretty dirty, even after washing. I put it in the washer by itself and set the load size to small, so maybe there wasn't enough water or something. There's still dirt caked on to some areas of the shoe.

mfox

South Orange, New Jersey
Joined: 19 Dec 2004
Posts: 367

Re: Washing Your Running Shoes? Posted: Tue Feb 01, 2005 6:55 pm 

I've not tried this but it just ocurred to me (because I do this with my running hats) to try washing your shoes in the dishwasher....alone. It won't wear and tear on them like the washing machine and the jet sprays of water might help dislodge the dirt better than having them tossed around in the washing machine. I'm not sure how the shoes will fair with dish detergent...but hey try your other shoe and let us know what happens.

OldManRunner
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Rochester, NY
Joined: 28 Nov 2004
Posts: 262

Re: Washing Your Running Shoes? Posted: Wed Feb 02, 2005 2:56 pm 

Actually, I don't really care too much if my shoes get dirty...only if they get smelly. I stepped in a deep puddle one time that totally saturated a favorite pair of shoes. I didn't dry them carefully so they must have stayed damp, and some form of stinky bacteria clearly took root in them, because after a while I couldn't even bring them in the house they smelled so bad. Finally just tossed them in the trash.

black-cat-white-cat

Galway, IRELAND
Joined: 28 Jun 2005
Posts: 1

Re: Washing Your Running Shoes? Posted: Tue Jun 28, 2005 5:11 am 

My first posting, so Greetings from the West of Ireland.

Just on the point about washing runners in a washing machine being a bad thing - my experience is other wise.

Here it rains a lot - my Pegasus runners are always getting wet on my 5 Mile off road runs.
When they start to get a little too dirty and smelly I remove the insoles and loosen the laces and the put them
with a few t-shirts/towels (to absorb impact) into the machine.

I have found over the years that using Biological washing powder gets rid of the bad smells best.
They always come out like new and should be dry enough to ware in a day or so after being left at room temp/
Take care not to expose the insoles to high temps as this can spoil them)


Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: Washing Your Running Shoes? Posted: Thu Jun 30, 2005 11:16 pm 

Hi black-cat-white-cat, welcome to Runworks.

How many miles do you typically get from a pair of shoes? Have you ever tried not washing a pair, to see if they hold up better over time and therefore need replacement less often?


mfox

South Orange, New Jersey
Joined: 19 Dec 2004
Posts: 367

Re: Washing Your Running Shoes? Posted: Fri Jul 01, 2005 7:44 am 

Howdy black-cat-white-cat! Welcome!

My guess, Rickshaw, is that his shoes won't hold up as long if he DOESN'T wash them. Sounds like the weather is quite often moist. I always try to remember to take my insole out and pull the tongue of the shoe back after each run (to as much air circulation as possible). Even a little bit of mosture over time will cause your shoes to start to stink...and it's the kind that is in down deep and difficult (if not impossible) to remove with washing.


Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: Washing Your Running Shoes? Posted: Fri Jul 01, 2005 8:51 am 

I suppose if your shoes are too smelly to wear, they're just as dead as if they soles were worn out. I know my feet are usually stinky enough already, without needing any help from shoes...

brndog


Joined: 10 Jun 2005
Posts: 1

Re: Washing Your Running Shoes? Posted: Sun Jul 03, 2005 10:27 pm 

I have put them in the dish washer many times with no ill effects. It is not that different from getting them wet outside. Use a mild detergent.

kurt

Boston, MA
Joined: 21 Jul 2005
Posts: 3

Re: Washing Your Running Shoes? Posted: Thu Jul 21, 2005 6:46 pm 

yep. i know a guy who washed his shoes in a machine the day before a marathon. he nuked his feet but the shoes were pretty clean.

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